This paper is on building caring relationships between teachers and students.
Research and experience indicates that schools with small classrooms as in having a restricted number of students are a great source of encouraging teacher cooperation and shared planning, with greater emphasis on the development of relationships between students and teachers with time. Such a relationship leads to the following achievements:
Higher graduation rates
Much greater student participation in school activities
Many fewer discipline problems and violent incidents
Academic achievement at a level at least as high and often higher than larger schools similarly situated
Greater student, teacher and parent satisfaction with the school experience and greater retention of good teachers.
Source: Building Successful Schools
Small schools actually means having strength of around 350 or less in elementary schools, and 600 or less in high schools. They can also function as stand-alone schools, or in a larger school framework such as schools-within-schools. This system is quite successful in urban, impacted communities where the development of relationships between students and caring adults holds a lot of importance. There is also huge consensus throughout the educational research community that smaller schools are successful schools.
Developing caring relationships with students
1. Management of students takes time, energy and talent.
a. interesting use of cues, e.g., lights out after lunch and during story time as cue for quieting down.
b. Remarkable lack of behavioral techniques coupled with a tendency to accentuate the negative.
Lots of negative attention; calling attention to mistakes and misbehavior, while not reinforcing correct responses and behavior. In some cases I noticed good use of ignoring misbehavior with predictable extinction.
2. Some casual, too little, or no attention appeared to be given to the psychological programming of activities. The day is an alteration of "stir 'em up" and quiet them down.
a. Difficult or "less interesting" subjects (math) placed late in the day.
b. Simultaneous or rapid alternation between enthusiasm and control.' c. Many teachers used routine to advantage; others did not.
d. Many used seating arrangement as a control technique; a few varied room arrangement for positive purpose.
e. Lots of touch, mostly natural, occasionally not managed to potential.
3. Kids speak very softly when on the spot.
4. Curriculum a. How incredibly slow and patient and repetitious must the presentation be!
b. How carefully must the textbooks be written to avoid confusion. The spelling series is not very successful in this regard.
c. Students need to be taught how to be students. There was lots of "wasted" time.
d. Virtually any presentation hit some students directly, sort of hit others, and missed a few almost entirely. This is partially because teachers tended to employ only one style for a given lesson or segment of a lesson. Maybe the teachers vary pace rather than style, which partially explains the incredibly slow pace.
5. Good teachers operate with simultaneous, multiple-channel monitoring, i.e., they carry on a lesson presentation while analyzing thought processes behind student responses, plus observe for symptoms of misunderstanding, misbehavior, illness, and emotionality.
6. Playground supervisors have an uncomfortable role in that theirs is not a directing capacity, but rather a policing task. This seems to require or engender a strong control, tight-rein process.
7. Some of the best staff relationship maintenance occurs while the students are at recess.
The teachers of primary and intermediate grades congregate for food, friendship, and social banter.
8.Enthusiasm, smiles, and an apparent liking for students were especially obvious in teachers of classes with a good atmosphere.
9. Each teacher must establish his or her own means of control or management. Student behavior varied widely from classrooms to P.E. To music to recess to lunchroom, etc.
The classroom teacher cannot be responsible for nor effective in handling the behavior of his or her students in someone else's system.
Source: Educational Psychology Lecture Notes
The development of the student begins by building quality relationships that connect a student to the teachers and others in the classroom. This helps to build good relationships with others in the world. What teachers must work on is developing ways that satisfy a students desire to be seen and heard. Research shows that students who feel deeply connected through relationships are more likely to survive the temptation of risk and the damage of stress. They are also more likely to discover and share the gift of themselves with the world. [The Importance of Relationships]
In most of the schools, it is paramount that the teachers work on their own potential to build relationships with the students inner being since this is crucial to the development of a sense of identity, and development of a good moral values. Students at a very young age start wondering who they are and what they want in life at a very young age, they look into the teachers to provide them with answers to the questions about themselves. They feel the longing to belong to someone, to please someone and make them happy, most of the times it's the teacher they hold very near and dear and those who feel this way end up becoming very strong for these adolescents since they let their social life take over their self-discovery. When teachers connect with the students, the student learns to connect with their being and learn about who they really are, and also learn to express their true self. This connection helps them to develop their personality and inner being. In the process they learn to be more honest with themselves and they learn to see other people and the world around them with greater neutrality and openness.
When the teacher works on developing a deep connection with another student this leads to students developing a personality that is extremely caring, mutual, respectful towards another person. However, students who don't develop healthy relationships with another person at a young age learn to satisfy their inner desires of wanting to be seen and heard through intimacy and more likely through sexual relationships. Such teenagers grow up to lack ego strength, sense of autonomy, and personal boundary setting needed for healthy, intimate relationships. Authentic, age- appropriate intimacy and bonding with another adult who values moral values are important pillars that help to satisfy the desperation that causes many teenagers to premature sexuality. The only solution this is to provide students with enough nourishment that helps students deeply connect with an adult relative, a teacher or a mentor who is more like a counselor and will help guide a young person in a personal way.
When teachers help look after students from a very young age, the students learn to connect in a meaningful manner with a group of students their own age or within the community they live in when they are encouraged to live with others in a manner that promotes kindness and caring for others with respect. Research shows that students who feel a sense of belonging, grow up to be adults who are loving, friendly, cooperative, and are able to trust others and form healthy relationships. Relationship building in education can be developed through social and emotional learning techniques. Schools help provide this type of education through their "morning meetings," a weekly "council," or other forms of "sharing circles." Such activities help in developing a safe, caring, and respectful environment, where students learn to live in a manner that seeks cooperation, companionship, compassion nurtured in the classroom.
For one thing students these days shy away from talking about contacts with some higher authority in school because they wonder whether other teens will take this positively or thinks that he/she relies on that higher authority for wrong purposes. They feel hostility in expressing their thoughts. Teenagers especially need the time and opportunity to talk about their curiosity about their…